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Channel 4 at 30: Big Brother
Channel 4 went on air 30 years ago on Tuesday 2 November, 1982. The first face viewers saw was the late Richard Whiteley presenting Countdown. Over the years, seminal series such as Brookside, The Comic Strip Presents, Friends and Big Brother followed. In this gallery, we celebrate the shows that got us all talking.
Big Brother, the godfather of reality TV and TV's first major cross-platform concept, was a 24-carat phenomenon for Channel 4. It is, arguably, the series that will forever define an era of the broadcaster.
The very first run was already intriguing fans in 2000 when 'nasty' Nick Bateman decided to try to influence the eviction voting of his fellow housemates. The ensuing outcry propelled Big Brother into the public consciousness.
It provoked seismic shifts in the tabloids and re-wrote the rules of modern celebrity; no Big Brother - no TOWIE. The show made a star of the late Jade Goody and challenged perceptions of sexuality thanks to the likes of Brian Dowling and Nadia Almada.
The Celebrity version of Big Brother came under the spotlight in January 2007, when a racism row involving Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty made worldwide headlines. By the time Channel 4 axed it in 2010, Big Brother had spawned a host of imitations, but none has recreated the extraordinary hold the original had on the British viewing public.
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